Hacking Airbnb SEO

Airbnb SEO – 8 Proven Hacks to Convert More Airbnb Bookings

Airbnb SEO algorithm works much like Google SEO. It is a software-driven tool that collects data points to mathematically calculate the quality of your Airbnb listing. I have provided a link to the official Airbnb blog post on the factors that will determine your listing appearance in search results, but the Airbnb blog neglected on several other factors that will also determine the health of your listing.
My goal is to help you with my proven 8 hacks to rank higher on Airbnb’s search results and ultimately convert more bookings!

Airbnb Bookings: Guest Satisfaction

If you are just starting out as a new host, please check out my ultimate guide to creating and hosting on Airbnb. 
Airbnb breaks down guest satisfaction into two variables: 1) how many reviews and 2) the number of 5-star reviews.

  1. The number of reviews: Airbnb tracks your review rate and how many total reviews that you have. The higher the number, the better it is. The review rate is calculated as such = total guest trips divide it by the total guests that leave you a review.
  2. 5-star reviews: this is perhaps the most important factor. The standard is 80% of your reviews should equal a 5-star review.

Here is an example of my current reviews, review rate, and 5-star review ratio:
Hacking Airbnb SEO

Airbnb Bookings: Price

If you are first starting out as an Airbnb host, it is important to note that Airbnb rewards cheaper listings. Wham…I know, this sucks. The reason why is because they want to stay competitive in the hotel industry. The easiest strategy to do that is to compete on price and unfortunately, their competitive strategy is costing new hosts hundreds if not thousands in potential revenue. However, if you’re an experienced host, then check out my post on how you can maximize your listing price.

Airbnb Bookings: Listing Quality

Listing quality is something I’m was excited to talk about. The nuance behind it is a bit more complicated than the rest of the hacks. Airbnb takes into account of 4 different things: photos, listing title, word count, and amenities.

  1. Photos: this goes without saying. Photos are the first impression of your potential guests. This is where they decide to click on your listing or not. Great photos are very important to rank higher in Airbnb’s search results.
  2. Listing Title: are you maximizing the available 50 characters that Airbnb provides? Check out my other post on why your Airbnb listing title sucks.
  3. Word count: a little-hidden hack. Airbnb correlates higher search results to hosts that have more words in the listing descriptions. Did you take the time to write out the optional listing descriptions? Now is a good time to do so.
  4.  Amenities: another little-hidden hack. Airbnb gives higher search ranking to hosts that provide these amenities: Iron, Desk, Hangers, Hair Dryers, Essentials, and the Internet.

Airbnb Bookings: Minimum Stay Requirements

This came as a surprise to me. Airbnb measure your average stay per guest and gives higher ranking to shorter stays. I thought the opposite was true. But then again, this makes sense for their business model. So, if you have your minimum stay requirements at 7, 14, or 21 days, then it might make sense to change this if you want higher ranking and more bookings! One thing to consider before changing it is to make sure that you have the capacity to turn your units for shorter stays.
Here is a snapshot of my average stays:
Hacking Airbnb SEO Hacking Airbnb SEO

Airbnb Bookings: Calendar Updates

I have written about this in my previous post. The more active a host is on updating their calendar, the higher or the better ranking of the property. No surprise that Airbnb rewards more active hosts. I use Beyond Pricing for maximizing my listing price as well as daily automated calendar updates.

Hack #6 – Airbnb Booking: Response Rate

As mentioned before, Airbnb rewards active hosts. If you have a bad response rate, then it’s time to think about how to improve this. When guests inquire about your listing, they are usually ready to book, so if you can get your response time within an hour, then that will dramatically improve your ranking. If you’re able to get it within 10 minutes, then your chances of getting more bookings are way higher.

Bottom line, even a friendly “no” will help you rank higher.

Airbnb Bookings: Instant Book

As a new host, it’s imperative to have this feature turned on. This allows guests to book instantly. As you get more experienced and credible, you can opt out of this feature. However, I do not recommend turning it off.

Airbnb has updated their Instant Booking policy to allow up to 3 cancellations free of penalty per year. This means that if you feel uncomfortable with a reservation, you can cancel it up to 3 times a year.

**Update: you no longer have 3 cancellations free of penalty per year. However, if you’re a new host and have never turned it on before, you can try out the feature for a month. You can cancel as many times as you want in that one-month trial period. Read more about it here.

Airbnb Bookings: Super Host

Super host only matters up until recently. Airbnb just did a revamp of how a guest can search properties hosted by super hosts. This is a new feature that was released this week. Check out this screenshot below.
hacking airbnb seo how to rank higher and convert more bookings
The unfortunate news is that to become a Superhost takes some time as they only evaluate on a quarterly basis. Good news is that you can focus on getting those 5-star reviews!

Final Words

Hacking Airbnb SEO

Be patient in your journey as a new host. It took me 6 months to achieve Superhost status. Maybe, it’ll take you less time.


Join my Airbnb Host Community Email List. I will send you Airbnb hosting best practices and tips to increase your operating margins. Sometimes, I’ll even surprise you with an awesome giveaway!

  • CommanderMoney
    Posted at 20:52h, 10 December Reply

    Thanks for the clear and concise tips!

  • Ryan Lesser
    Posted at 13:27h, 24 January Reply

    Hey, Sam! Thanks for the post! I know you’ve said that updating your prices daily helps you get ranked better. Do you have any idea whether just updating one of the days on your calendar is any different than updating the pricing on all the days you have available? Say I can’t afford a service like Beyond Pricing just yet. Just wondering if it’s worth my time to sit there and update every single day, or if I’m good just changing one of the day’s prices by a dollar and call it good. Thanks!

Post A Comment